Laurence Howell, the executive director of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), has been named chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Minority Engineering Programs Administrators (NAMEPA). Howell will be chairman for two years, representing universities along the East Coast and in the Mid-Atlantic states.
“It’s a great honor to be a part of NAMEPA,” said Howell, of Wayne, “and as chairman I’ll extend the work I do at NJIT to motivate and increase the number of minority engineers.”
NAMEPA is a national network of educators, industry representatives, government and nonprofit groups committed to helping underrepresented groups earn engineering degrees and work as engineers.
It’s not the first time Howell has been recognized for outstanding service. In March, Howell was named minority-engineering program director of the year by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Howell was cited by NSBE for being a “major contributor to NJIT’s consistently high ranking in graduating African-American and Hispanic engineers.”
Under Howell’s leadership, NJIT has distinguished itself in the national rankings of colleges that graduate minority engineers. According to the magazine Black Issues in Higher Education, NJIT ranks 15th in the nation for awarding bachelor degrees in engineering to African-Americans, and 11th nationally for awarding bachelor degrees in engineering to Hispanics.
At NJIT, Howell supervises a staff of 10 whose job it is to recruit, educate and graduate the NJIT students in EOP. With an annual budget of $2.3 million, Howell has increased the number of incoming EOP freshmen to 150 out of a total enrollment of 5,500. EOP is a state and university-funded program that offers academic, financial and counselling support to underrepresented minorities.